Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hoping For More Sun

Photo Caption: "Trying to still see a glimmer of sun."

I am providing an update here because I don't want to leave anyone who is following in the dark. I still hope that my words and experiences have some value being put out there, even though my life has been difficult since widowhood. I took a gamble to try and make it through another year in the area even though I knew it would be very hard and maybe even impossible financially. But I gambled so my son could finish out his senior high school year. I did try and find a family for him to stay with here while I moved last summer and fall. But that option just didn't fully materialize. To now look back and try to punish myself by saying I should have done things differently isn't helpful and adds to my misery. I continue to believe as I always passionately have, that people make the best decisions they can at the time, based on their experiences and the choices at hand.

When you are living life to the barest bone, one unexpected or unplanned event can just send you to your knees. The saying that people are only one paycheck away from disaster is true and probably now more true in this unstable economy.

The past week has been emotionally trying. I know myself. When the situation calls for helping others I am able to rise to the occassion. But when I need to pick myself up, I don't do such a good job. I tend to be immobile and shocked into inactivity when I am under extreme stress and worry. I am not able to focus. I dwell on the negatives and am plunged into this pit of dark thoughts, hopelessness and despair. Whereas some faced with hardship propel themselves into a whirlwind of activity, I am not even able to hold a crochet hook in my hand. I become this zombie like creature.

After existing in this state the later part of the week, on Sunday I broke down and called my girlfriend asking her if we could meet for tea or a walk. She scolded me for not calling her immediately when I lost my job and felt I needed two glasses of wine, her treat - forget the tea. She was kind to me, which is what I really think we most need when we're facing difficulties. She told me that in her opinion, I HAD made it and gotten my sons through high school. And she reminded me that as long as she has known me, since my oldest was five, that I have always reached out and helped others. When you're down and out, it is good to hear positives about youself because right now I sure am not seeing myself in a good light. And we need to be reminded of the complete person we are. All of us have strengths and weaknesses. Living through a bad situation doesn't reduce us only to our less desirable characteristics.

I took this personality quiz recently that figured out one's life strengths. I was a little surprised to see that my top strength was seeing and seeking out life's beauty. Now I am not an optimistic person and since childhood have seen the glass half-empty. But I guess seeking out beauty is something different. And since childhood I have always looked for beauty - every day. In puddles in the parking lot, in a store window display, in the cut or color of a woman's coat. Whenever I am out and about in the world, I take pictures with my phone and those photos have included puddles, window displays, clothing and the sun on a recent walk peeking out from the trees. I open a JJill clothing catalog and the photo arrangement of a set of sweaters, highlighting the rainbow of colors, captivates me. I find beauty in the the ordinary and it surrounds me even now. So that is what I am going to try and focus on - my strengths - the little things that do serve to empower me. Be they written words in a novel, the touch and feel of a hank of pure wool yarn or the surprises that greet one taking a late-winter walk as the sun sets and snow melts.


  1. I just want to reach out and hug you! I have been inspired, uplifted, encouraged, validated, and grateful for your blog and what you have shared about widowhood. I sure wish I would have found your blog years ago, but I am glad I did find it. While reading your blog, I have cheered for you, cried for you and prayed for you and your boys. I am glad you reached out to your friend and she was there for you. You are one of my widow heroes and you have taught me great things. Thank you for helping me along this road by writing this blog. Bless you and I hope things get better very soon.

  2. Your humanity and honesty encourage me to adopt a gentler attitude toward myself. I'm less ashamed of my limitations. Perhaps my weaknesses are supposed to sit in my toolkit alongside my strengths? I don't judge you harshly at all, and I'm glad you called on a friend who supported you. I so glad she treated you to the wine!